At the age of three, Shea began painting and drawing. As the years passed, teachers and parents encouraged him to continue growing creatively. At the age of 13 years-old, he took an interest in comic book artwork. It wasn't long before he began creating his own superheroes and sexy heroines. When he was a senior in high school, his artistic talents had taken shape nicely; it was then that Shea found his tool of choice - the airbrush.
Interestingly enough, before ever physically touching one, Shea made his way to a local art supply store to purchase his first - a Pasche VL, a reasonably standard airbrush at the time. With no prior experience or training, he started experimenting with the instrument, drawing his inspiration from picture books, film, and other airbrush artists' works. His creative appetite for learning more about working with the airbrush became enormous. It wasn't long before Shea moved into a new medium for his art - T-Shirts.
Using a black T-shirt as a "canvas" of sorts, Shea's first creation was done for the premiere of Terminator 2 in 1991. Reaction to his art was very positive with movie fans waiting at the theater, and so an entire "line" of one-of-a-kind movie-related T-Shirts was born. Foley has created images on shirts for nearly every "blockbuster" film released from 1991-1998. His work ranges from the dinosaurs of Jurassic Park©, to the re-release of the Star Wars Saga© in 1997. Once in a while, when that special film comes along, he will break out his old talents to create new works of wearable art.
In 1992, while still in college, Shea discovered the work of Olivia DeBerardinis - the definitive pin-up artist of the 90's. He immediately fell in love with her soft style and the sensual way she portrays the female body. Having always loved the female form himself artistically, it was only a matter of time before Shea tried his hand at pin-up art. His first attempt was finished in April of 1993. It was a painting of Playboy Playmate©, Susie Owens. It received immediate praise by friends, colleagues, and even the Susie herself.
Over the following years, Shea's artistic skills extended to a vast collection of different items. His airbrushing talents brought him into the world of custom painted motorcycles, helmets, and jet skis. In the early 90's, Shea also, through his love of film, began to create fantastic costumes and elaborate makeup effects, much to the delight of many come the Halloween season. In 1996 he was commissioned to create huge wall murals for several Southern California businesses; each project was applauded by his peers as exceptional accomplishments.
In the late 90's, while he continued to work in many different mediums, Shea's focus once again returned to pin-up art. Several pieces were completed, and received the same immediate praise that his first pin-up did just a few years back.
Always the perfectionist, Shea Foley is never entirely happy with his work and constantly strives to better his skills with each new creation. In 1997 Shea finally decided to take his pin-up work one step further into the professional art community by contacting models for his paintings. This was a first for someone that had created all his work in the past from nothing but thoughts and dreams.
It is difficult to believe while viewing Shea's work - be it a beautifully rendered Tyrannosaurus Rex or massive Imperial Star Destroyer, a likeness of Tom Cruise or an exotic nude captured in a sensual pose - that all of this creative energy and artistic flair comes from an individual who has not had one day of formal artistic schooling in his life!